Posted on: 16 May, 2022
Like many other industries, dentistry continues to be transformed by new technologies designed to improve the experience for patients and practitioners alike. Modern technologies such as 3D printing and augmented reality offer a number of benefits for dental care and can help to improve the accuracy, safety and comfort of treatments, as well as results.
3 minute read
Dentists that engage in ongoing training and adoption of the latest tried and tested systems and processes show a commitment to providing the best possible patient experience. Following are just some of the advanced technologies you can expect to see at EVP Dental.
Professional teeth cleaning to remove plaque and calculus is recommended as part of a routine check-up, but some people can find the process uncomfortable. This can especially be the case if you have sensitive teeth or a fear of the dentist.
Guided biofilm therapy (GBT) using EMS Airflow® is an alternative method to using traditional teeth cleaning. This process uses air, warm water and special powder to gently remove plaque and polish teeth with minimal contact.
As well as improving comfort, GBT can clean and polish teeth to a high standard in less time than traditional processes.
Ask the team at EVP Dental to explain more about EMS Airflow before your next visit, so you can decide if it's right for you. In some cases, traditional scaling tools may still be necessary if you have more stubborn plaque.
Many treatments such as orthodontics, crowns and dental implants first require taking physical impressions of your teeth that can be used to design your oral appliance or custom restoration. Traditionally, this involved using messy dental putty moulds that can be uncomfortable and can trigger a gag reflex.
Many modern dental clinics have phased out physical moulds in favour of digital impressions. Devices such as Trios® intraoral scanners capture high-definition images of the teeth, gums and palate that can be combined to create accurate 3D models of your mouth.
These 3D models can then be used to design custom restorations with greater accuracy and less discomfort than physical moulds. You also won't have to hold your mouth open for so long while images are being taken.
3D digital impressions with natural colours also allow your dentist to show you problems with your teeth more clearly than is possible with a mould or x-ray, and this could help you to better understand your condition and treatment.
Beyond novelty apps and video games, augmented reality has many practical uses, including in dentistry. This software enables dentists to superimpose 3D models or other information onto images of patients' teeth, providing a relatable frame of reference when explaining treatments.
One common use of this technology is known as digital smile design. It can create before and after images for orthodontics, cosmetic treatments and other procedures that involve changing the appearance of a smile. Your dentist may show you a mock-up of what results you can expect, which can then be manufactured into a trial smile to try-in over your teeth before treatment goes ahead.
You can also view computer-generated before and after simulations on your phone using apps such as Invisalign® SmileView™. This app generates a realistic 'after' photo to show what your smile could look like after treatment using Invisalign clear aligners.
Technology has greatly improved dental treatment planning and has allowed for more predictability, greater accuracy and less invasiveness when it comes to surgical procedures like dental implant treatment. This is the case for 3D guided implant surgery, which involves several advanced technologies working together to digitally pre-plan, perform and evaluate implant surgery before it takes place.
Your dentist will first take a 3D CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) scan of your mouth and use specialised software to plan the optimal position, angle and depth of implants in your jaw. This ensures that obstacles such as nerves and sinus cavities are avoided and can reduce clinical risks and help you to achieve best aesthetic results.
Your dentist can then send this design to a 3D printer to create a custom surgical guide. This will be placed in your mouth and allows your dentist to place a dental implant to the correct millimetre, visualising every step of the procedure along the way.
One of the latest examples of technology adopted in dentistry is for sports mouthguards. An HITIQ smart mouthguard combines a custom-fit mouthguard with head impact surveillance to better protect players on the sports field.
It's estimated that as high as 50% of concussions may go unreported, with 90% of all traumatic brain injuries in kids stemming from concussions and roughly 1 in 4 coming from playing sport.
The mouthguard uses in-built sensors that can detect, classify and assess the severity of head impacts. This data gets then sent to a mobile app for patients and medical practioners to monitor after training and games.
Available for kids aged 12 years and over, it's an example of technology providing protection and better peace of mind for patients.
At EVP Dental, we invest in the latest technologies and our dentists and staff are trained and experienced in their safe operation so we can offer you the best possible dental care during your visit.